Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Athletic Injuries -- prevention & control; Sports


In the U.S. an estimated 20-25 million youths participate in high school athletics yearly. Of these, nearly 30% will be forced to miss part or all of the season due to injury. It has been speculated that through proper training, many of the injuries seen may be reduced or eliminated. However, most coaches do not have an extensive anatomical and physiological background to provide athletes with these correct training techniques. Although athletic trainers have expertise in this area, they are only employed in approximately 10% of the high school systems in the U.S.

Much of the research to date on this subject is in regard to post-injury rehabilitation. It has been speculated that many athletic injuries may be prevented by employing similar techniques as those utilized with injury rehabilitation. Physical therapists are coming into contact more frequently with the athletic population. Teaching proper strengthening and conditioning techniques specifically for the prevention of injury is a component of physical therapy practice. However, no specific guidelines appear to be available regarding the effects of training of an athlete for strengthening, tied together with the prevention of injury. Therefore, it will be beneficial if resource materials are prepared to assist physical therapists in providing coaches and athletes with this information.

The purpose of this study is to provide: (a) a basic insight into the current theories behind strength training and the benefits on the muscular system, (b) information for coaches and trainers about effective training principles that will strengthen athletes, and (c) additional information regarding the prevention of injuries due to overtraining, muscle imbalances, inflexibilities, and fatigue.